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    CTY Files

    CTY Files

    by Devyn

    Download the file

    OK. I’ve dug up the CD with them from a stack of old ones. Here they are and their description best I can remember. Enjoy!


    “PER & AI Files”

    These files are from a couple of years ago when I played Age of Empires far more often. At the time I got bored of the same dumb tactics computer AI used (Attacking ballista towers with Triremes is but one example). To relieve my boredom, I started to tinker with files in the Age of Empires directory. It didnt’ take me long to realize that, unlike other RTS games, this one allowed you to make your own AI. First it was simply getting the numbers right in the file. Not long after that I created my first AI that, actually, made it to the iron age. Not long after that I had it dish out troops and the rest is history. Finally, after many trials and tests, the final AI was finished and it could outperform any other AI in my ‘Age of Empires’ directory. Now CP will only approach your base with Juggernaughts if it losses too many Triremes.

    Here’s a short description of how the AI proceeds:

    The AI starts by placing as few buildings as possible to make it to the Tool Age with a solid economy. Ideally it should have 16 Villagers, 4 Fishing boats, Dock, Granary, Storage pit and five+ houses when it reaches Tool Age. During testing it reached Tool Age in approx 8-12 minutes compared to the 12-15 minutes for standard AI. After Tool Age research is started, a Market is built, Wood Cutting is researched, Barracks is built and Archery is built in this approximate order. Initially, as buildings become available, Axemen, Archers and War Ships are built as well as respective upgrade technologies researched for each unit. These units are on limited retrains as advanced troops will take their place in later Ages. Under good conditions, the AI will hit with 6 Axemen, 6 Archers, and 4 Warships in < 17 minutes. Later troops include, Helepolis, Catapult, Juggernaught, Elephant archers, Horse Archers, Centurions and Priests.

    The land version of the AI doesn’t build any boats or docks.

    The PER file included is designed to work with the AI file above. I have not tested as extensively with other AI’s as with Invasion Force AI. Additional build issues are handled in the PER file. The PER file was used only to fine tune the already complete Invasion Force AI. Any PER file should work well with this AI likewise any AI file should work well with the PER file.

    The CTY file(s) included is considerably different then the default CTY file supplied. The CTY file took about as much time as did the PER file to make and debug. The coordinate system of the file is based on the cartesian plane. I wish I would remember which way the axis pointed, though as I typed the file it became less and less important. The town is built around the Town Center. Hence [0, 0] in the file is the location of the Town Center around which the coordinate system is based. This is so that if a player starts in Nomad, wherever he/she places their Town Center will be coordinate [0, 0]. It is not necessary for me to reiterate all the details by Bruce Denes and SBE however there are some very important points to consider. 

    First, the misterious third digit. Most likely that is the Z-axis. Think about it, AoE has flying units, therefore a 3rd axis, the Z-axis. It is simply not used because no structure is ever above ground. And so it is always 0.

    Second. How does the computer ‘center’ structures according to the coordinates and why do we use .5? How can we have half a square? I mean, does it place the upper left corner at the coordinates in the CTY file, the upper right, the bottom left or something else alltogether? The answer is center. Some of you may see a problem with that already. Here’s the problem. There are actually two coordinate systems. I’ll call it the pixel/real coordinate system and the map/integer coordinate system since I don’t have the actual names available to me. (That’s why you can move a unit a pixel at a time during games.) A 3×3 building has a single map (integer) unit as center. So does a wall, it is a single unit to begin with. But what about a House or Tower? Where is the center? The answer is at .5 of map/integer unit in the pixe/real coordinate system. Here’s the graphic demonstrating it. (The green square is some coordinate (P1.5, P2.5) in the CTY file.)

    For the House/Tower to respect the map/integer coordinate system it has to be placed with it’s center indicated by the green square. This way, all 4 squares the house occupies are placed exactly on the map.Hence, entries for 2×2 (4×4, 6×6 etc) structures end in X.5 rather then X.0. This is so that the squares the house occupies are in line with the rest of the buildings. In fact, you can place a building at any real location on the map, however this could make the game unplayable.

    Third. How come Walls and Towers don’t place as I specified in the CTY file? The reason for that is designers decided to make it Dynamic. In games I’ve played, CP usually builds towers at locations where it fought an enemy or at locations where elevations exist. Simply put elevations around your city to cause CP to build towers there. However, that is no guarantee it will do so.

    Fourth. How can I create CTY files quickly? I found CTY files, though repetitive, fairly little work. Simply create coordinates for one quadrant. Then copy and paste that quadrant, changing signs for the other quadrants. In this way, it shouldn’t take you more then 2 hours to create a CTY file. The files in my set are the ‘Metropolis I’, ‘Metropolis II’, ‘Metropolis III’, ‘Metropolis A’, and ‘Metropolis B’. ‘Metropolis III’ is the most recent one.

    CTY files are huge. Only when they have hundreds of coordinates will you see the effect in games. The ‘Metropolis’ CTY files are arranged in a pattern as in the image below.

    CTY FILES – 4 CTY files supplied. ‘Metropolis I’ through ‘Metropolis IV’. Metropolis IV builds farms redundantly. This is handy for having farms rebuilt in the same location once they are exhausted.

    AI and PER Files – Two AI files. One for land and the other for water. ‘Invasion Force’ & ‘Invasion Force’. Use each accordingly since using water version on land will stall the build order if dock can’t be built.

    AI TEST MAP – 3 player, test map for Invasion Force AI’s and Resiliant.per. You are allied with both players and do little other then watch the action. 

    NEW HORIZONS – Playable scenario. My favorite. Your allie on the map uses the AI, PER and CTY files. It is Medium – Hard difficulty. It was tested set to ‘Hard’.

    CTYTEST MAP – This is a file for testing the CTY files. Increase the speed of the game to 50 or so, and type the cheat ‘steroids’ and watch it build everything and research everything. This is a good way to see how the CTY file builds.

    That’s that. Hope it makes your gaming experience more fun. Let me know what you think.

    -Copyright Devyn (c) (

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